Long Enough to Leave
Reviewed by Jane Roser
I confess, I went through a hippie stage in the early 1990’s. I wore bell bottoms, burned patchouli incense and followed the Grateful Dead (yes- when Jerry Garcia, bless his soul, was still alive). The Mantles’ new album, Long Enough To Leave, is a spacey, trippy, hippie-dippy ride on a moonbeam that echoes shades of The Monkees or The Byrds more so than the Grateful Dead or rock driven bands like Cream.
Emerging from the San Francisco/Oakland area in 2007, The Mantles are a mixture of garage/pop, folk rock and psychedelic rock. Their press release explains their sound this way: “Long Enough To Leave is both impressionistic and psychedelic – guitar melodies evoke lyrical themes in equal measure to the plaintive words of vocalist Michael Olivares, whose frank and poetic take on ordinary reality strips familiar themes of their clichés.”
All ten tracks are a fun, sugary ride and I half expected Dr. Teeth from The Muppets to make a guest appearance and belt out “can you picture that?” The first track “Marbled Birds” is probably what an acid trip feels like. The guitar reverberates and the background chorus of faint “ahhhh’s” carry the song like a revival of Godspell. The only issue I took with this song (actually with most of these songs) is that I swear the vocalist is singing with a fake British accent until he hits the word “good” and it falls like lead…and then there it is again!
Other than the inconsistencies with some of the vocal tracks, I enjoyed this album. I also got quite a kick out of the dirty bird titles of these back-to-back songs: “Raspberry Thighs” and “Brown Balloon”. The Mantles kick off their summer tour next month and you can find them at Kung Fu Necktie here in Philly on July 7th. I dare you to wear raspberry colored tights and bring brown balloons with you. In fact, I double dare you.